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date_rape - "Date-Rape Drugs A Growing Concern Susan A...

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"Date-Rape Drugs": A Growing Concern Susan A. Lyman, Carol Hughes-McLain, and Gerald Thompson One of the most despicable actsagainst women just got more despicable. The act is rape and the latest twist is known as "date-rape drugs:' "Date-rape drugs" have become a growing concern to health educators and community educators. These drugs have become popularamong adolescents and college students and are often used in combination with alcohol. They are inexpensive and easily avail- able. Educators. as well as students, need to become aware of the danger of the drugs known as "dal~-rape drugs." These drugs are being used to incapacitate women so they can be sexually assaulted and in some cases to completely block the memory of the assault. Date rape cases are among tl':e most difficult cases to prove in coun because the victim is the key. By robbing victims of their memory and their ability to defend themselves, it has made a tough job of proving date rape even tougher (Manning, 1996). These drugs have become known as the modern version of the Mickey Finn, a drug once used to knock out sailors. In one instance. which involved a 17-year- old girl being administered the "date- rape drug" Gamma y-hydroxybutyrate. death was the final outcome. More than a hundred cases of the use of "date-rape drugs," specifically Gamma y- hydroxybutyrate, have been reponed re- cently in Texas, Florida, and California alone (Gonnan. 1996). The following infonnation focuses on three specific drugs that are commonly referred to as "date-rape drugs": Gamma y- SusanA. Lyman. Carol Hughes-McLain. and Gerald Thompson arewith the Uni- versity of Southwestern Louisiana. Lafayette. LA 70504. hydroxy butyrate. Rohypnol. and Ketamine Hydrochloride. The purpose of this investigation is to describe the uses and effects of the "date- rape drugs" Gamma y-hydroxybutyrate, Rohypnol, and Ketamine Hydrochloride. Also presented are the ease of availabil- ity and the inexpensiveness of acquisi- tion. Enforcement surrounding these drugs is discussed. Gamma y-hydroxybutyrate A drug that recently has been referred to as a "date-rape drug" is Gamma y- hydroxybutyrate. known as GHB. Syn- onyms for GHB are "Easy Lay," "Liquid X," "Grevious Bodily Harm," "Gook," and "Gamma 10." GHB is being called the "Mickey Finn of the 90s." A "Mickey Finn" refers to the drug chloral hydrate that used to be added to alcohol to make victims pass out (Inciardi. 1977). GHB is odorless, tasteless, and can be made eas- ily at home in a chemistry lab. Instruc- tions can even be found in libraries or on the Internet. which may be one reason for the drug's recent rise in popularity. The whole idea of how effortless it is to obtain detailed instructions from the Internet on how to make GHB is stagger- ing. The recipe calls for an industrial solventand sodium hydroxide to be mixed together and cooked (Horswell. 1996).
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